California, New York and a federal department require their healthcare professionals to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Half a hundred associations of health professionals, representing millions of workers, requested this Monday that vaccination against the coronavirus be mandatory for doctors and nurses.

The city of New York so ordered it last week, and this Monday extended the mandate to all its municipal employees. California has ordered it to its state employees and health professionals on Monday, and the Department of Veterans Affairs also to its health employees, despite the fact that the White House sowed doubts about the legality of a similar mandate at the federal level.

“Due to the recent rise in COVID-19 and the availability of safe and effective vaccines, our healthcare organizations and societies advocate that all long-term care and medical employers require their workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 “the health groups wrote in a joint statement.

[Siga nuestra cobertura de la pandemia del coronavirus]

Among those who sign are the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA), the National Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatricians, among more than 50 organizations.

“It is the logical fulfillment of the ethical commitment of all health workers to put patients first, as well as residents of long-term care facilities, and take all necessary measures to ensure their health and well-being, “they say in the letter.

Starts in New York

New York City announced Monday that it will require all of its city workers to be vaccinated or take weekly COVID-19 tests beginning in mid-September.

The mayor, Bill de Blasio, announced this measure for health workers last week, but now has extended it to the rest of the city employees due to the increase in infections due to the delta variant.

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Registered Nurse Sheba Phillip prepares a syringe with a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine during a vaccination event outside the Bronx Writing Academy in the Bronx, New York, June 4, 2021.Mike Segar/Reuters

The number of vaccines administered daily in the city has been reduced to less than 18,000, from a peak of more than 100,000 in early April, as reported by the news agency The Associated Press. About 65% of the city’s adults are fully vaccinated.

The first federal department requires vaccines to its health employees

The Veterans Department also issued a vaccination mandate for healthcare workers, a rarity for a federal department, the newspaper reports. The New York Times.

These workers who provide direct patient care they have eight weeks to get vaccinated against the coronavirus or face sanctions, including possibly being fired.

Due to the rapid spread of the highly contagious delta variant, as there are still a significant number of unvaccinated people, the new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are increasing once again throughout the United States.

Follow California

New York is closely followed, on the other side of the country, California, where state and health workers will soon have to show proof that they have been vaccinated, and those who should not be tested regularly, authorities announced Monday as reported. the Los Angeles Times.

The new guide is not a mandate, like those that have been announced for municipal workers in some areas of the state, but it effectively eliminates the “honor system,” in which employees simply gave their word that they were vaccinated.

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State employees who are not vaccinated or who refuse to provide proof of vaccination will receive diagnostic tests at least once a week, according to the California Department of Human Resources.

Health workers not yet vaccinated

The letter assures that vaccination is the main way to overcome the pandemic and avoid the return of strict measures such as quarantines and confinements.

Only 49% of the population has been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC for its acronym in English), and many health workers remain unimmunized despite having had priority access to vaccines since they are available in December.

[Las vacunas protegen de la peligrosa variante delta del COVID-19. Pero hacen falta las dos dosis]

More than 38% of nursing home staff were not fully vaccinated as of July 11, despite caring for patients at high risk of contracting the virus, reports The Washington Post newspaper according to data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and analyzed by LeadingAge, which represents elderly care providers .

An analysis by WebMD and Medscape Medical News estimated that around 25% of hospital workers who had contact with patients had not been vaccinated, according to figures from the end of May.

Joint communiqué indicates requiring health workers to be vaccinated “It is especially necessary to protect vulnerable people, including unvaccinated children and the immunosuppressed.”

The signatories acknowledge that “some workers cannot be vaccinated for identified medical reasons and should be exempt from a mandate”, but add that “they constitute a small minority of all workers”.

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With information from The Washington Post and NBC News.